Christmas 30 years ago in Pattaya was a rather plain affair. Festive dinners were difficult to organize as nobody locally was selling frozen turkeys, whilst the journey from Bangkok could take 5 hours just one way. And Brussels sprouts? You might as well have asked for a hippopotamus steak with your chips. Outside the big hotels, air conditioning was a rarity and any malfunction meant puzzled looks and indefinite delays. The biggest event of Christmas Day 1992 was the arrival of fresh milk in Spinney’s supermarket on the Second Road which led to a virtual siege of the place. And mobile phones? Forget that idea unless you had a work permit and a brown envelope.
֎ It’s official, or sort of. Russians now outnumber Indians on vacation in Pattaya city. Daily charter flights to U-tapao from several Russian cities explain it. Indians prefer to eat in Indian restaurants, but Russians don’t care as long as the menu is in Russian.
֎ If you see a notice to pay placed under your car windscreen, don’t assume it’s a fake or a scam. Pattaya police are now using portable computers to issue tickets for traffic violations. Merry Christmas everyone.
֎ A total of 73 Pattaya bars, clubs and hangouts have been raided over the past month. Typical offences have been underage drinking, drugs and not closing by 2 a.m. Police say the ongoing battle to uphold the law will continue over the festive season.
֎ Live auction at Pattaya’s first and best auction house, Collingbourne’s, every Saturday at 11.00 am. Check their website for more details.
֎ If I was two-faced, would I be wearing this one? Variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Thatcher and Kim Jong-un.
֎ Good reports from Welcome Inn, Mabprachan Lake. Try their nice-n-spicy daily curries from 275 baht.
֎ Still on Indian food, good value at the Friday evening buffet of Bangsaray Beach Club. Still only 350 baht, all in.
֎ Marriage is a very expensive way to get your laundry done free.
֎ The Saturday evening cabaret at M2M, in Jomtien’s gay Complex Supertown, is professional, colorful and very popular.
֎ A Thai lady has told police her foreign husband died because he had placed too many oxygen-devouring plants in the bedroom. An autopsy has been ordered.
֎ Yupins, Jomtien Complex, have an exquisite Christmas dinner this year for 995 baht. All the details are at www.yupins.com
֎ When all is said and done about plastic surgery, the cheapest way to improve your facial features is to smile.
֎ Readers often ask where they donate not-needed clothes and household items in the Pattaya area. Check out Inezfoundation on Facebook. Reputable locally-based charity.
֎ Good boys go to heaven, bald guys to Pattaya.
֎ I don’t mind in what language opera is sung as long as it’s not mine.
֎ If you’re a Bingo lover, At Home Bar in Jomtien Complex has a Wednesday night session at 8 pm. There are jackpots to be won for a line or a full house.
֎ A reader asks if a disabled American can renew his passport by mail. Yes and no need to be disabled. Check out citizen services on the US embassy website.
֎ A Hungarian tourist picked up a street walker who, mid-session in a hotel room, went to the toilet. The European then realized the she was a he as the toilet seat creaked as it was lifted.
֎ Amongst the elderly UK expats living in Pattaya are dubious guys who claim variously to be the grandson of hangman Albert Pierrepoint, to have seen the Loch Ness monster twice and to have shaken hands with Adolf Hitler at least once. Nuff said.
֎ According to the immigration website, you can buy Cambodian citizenship by making a donation of US$300,000. Just saying.